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IoT to spawn seamless self-service for travel
April 2016 2237

Over the next three years passengers will enjoy seamless self-service as the Internet of Things (IoT) comes to travel, according to the latest industry report from SITA, a leading global IT provider to the air transport industry.

Today, 83 per cent of passengers carry a smartphone and this is now the unifying technology in transport that will provide a connected end-to-end experience, said the report titled 'The Future is Connected'.

SITA’s report shows that smartphones are reshaping travel behaviour with passengers keen to use them at the check-in and boarding pass stages.

The groundwork by the air transport industry to establishing the infrastructure and processes that enable more seamless travel experiences is well under way and gathering further momentum. Over the next three years the vast majority of airlines and airports are planning to invest in mobile services for passengers and most airports will also be financing self-service processes. SITA’s analysis shows that during the same period, the International Air Transport Association’s (Iata) Fast Travel Program will reach a critical threshold.

Iata’s target is to achieve a self-service experience for 80 per cent of global passengers by 2020. This covers six key stages in the journey: check-in, bags-ready-to-go, document scanning, self-boarding, flight rebooking and bag recovery. Last year, the initiative reached 29 per cent of passengers with the goal of 40 per cent this year.

In the report, SITA presents a detailed analysis of the readiness of airlines and airports at each stage of the journey and the expectation of adoption by 2018.

Nigel Pickford, director market insight, SITA, said: 'The air transport industry has already embraced self-service and now it is turning to the ‘Internet of Things’ to deliver a more connected experience to travellers. Half of airlines expect to have IoT initiatives up and running over the next three years meanwhile airports are building out the infrastructure to support IoT. Together these will deliver improved operations and will lead to a step change in the passenger experience.'


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